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Wade Williams Worship Scholar

Covenant College is pleased to announce a new designation in honor of Wade Williams for his contributions as a church musician for over 35 years. Wade Williams passed away in May 2014 after a lengthy battle with cancer. A skilled instrumentalist and vocalist, Williams served as worship leader for numerous PCA congregations over the course of his career in addition to leading worship at conferences and events across the denomination and around the world.


Beginning in the 2020 academic year, Covenant College will offer the designation of Wade Williams Worship Scholar to qualified students who are musically gifted and desire to serve God’s people in gathered worship. This designation will be awarded and renewed each year by a committee including the chaplain as well as representatives from the Department of Music. The chapel office and the Department of Music will provide these designated students with opportunities and stipends to learn and lead across a range of liturgical styles and ministry contexts.


The family and friends of Wade Williams fondly recall his ability to train and develop worship leaders. According to Pastor Joe Novenson of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, “Wade Williams was a godly, humble, courageous, creative troubadour of the great King. Within a brief season of service in the Chattanooga area, Wade mentored the music leadership of multiple churches within the metropolitan area. The emphasis was always on presenting honor to the King and not performing for his people. This central mark is evident where his students carry on the lessons they learned.”


The established criteria for students to be considered for this designation include spiritual, personal, and professional characteristics exemplified by Wade Williams throughout his career:

  1. An ardent and contagious love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  2. A deep love for the church universal, colloquial, and local.

  3. An insatiable desire to serve people no matter their background, age, sex, or ethnicity.

  4. A noted giftedness in leading discipleship.

  5. A personal commitment to a life full of cheerful obedience and a teachable disposition.

  6. An area of musical giftedness with an instrument that supports singing.

  7. An appetite for robust theological study and confessional worship traditions.

  8. A hopeful eagerness to grow in musical literacy, experience, and stylistic understanding.

  9. A sense of calling to serve in Christ’s church as a musician (layperson or professional).

  10. A grateful and humble heart that does not have a hint of entitlement.


Contributions to the Wade Williams Worship Scholar Program can be made by online or by contacting Joel Christie at Students who are interested in being considered for this designation can contact Dr. Scott Finch (